ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, 09|17|2011 – 02|05|2012
AES Group
Founded in 1987, in Moscow (RU)
Tatiana Arzamasova, * 1955 in Moscow, Lev Evzovich, * 1958 in Moscow, and Evgeny Svyatsky, * 1957 in Moscow, live and work in Moscow

Oasis, 2000

The work Oasis integrates some ideas of the Islamic Project launched by AES Group in 1996. In the interior of a Bedouin tent, traditional handmade carpets of oriental design are combined with digital prints on silk representing a dystopian world in the wake of a fictive Islamic invasion (as seen in 2006). The prints are visible and provocative evidence of the decline of Western domination and the Islamic rewriting of Western history. This “documentation” of the future consists of well-known views of Western capitals surrealistically invaded by the Other in the form of Islamic symbolism, domes of mosques, minarets, tents, oriental markets, etc.

Originally conceived as an ironic parody of globalization and global tourism, the project reflects the tendency of mass media to exploit the mass phobia of the Western world. The visible “clash of civilizations” (Samuel P. Huntington) in the form of a worst-case scenario reveals the populism of political propaganda, showing the mechanisms for constructing “new” realities under the influence of mass media.
Over the course of time, and especially after 9/11, life itself transformed the project into a museum art object. Today, this paradoxical work documents “the future of the past.” (DM)


Oasis, 2008